[From The Gardener's Magazine
, 1828, p. 352:] Lee's Nursery..The plantation of standard roses at the entrance of this nursery, correctly placed in regard to distance from each other, height, &c., and most scientifically pruned, produces an excellent first impression.
[From The history and antiquities of the parish of Hammersmith, by Thomas Faulkner, 1839, p. 42-43:] Lee's Nursery is situate on the north side of the Great Western road, and near Hammersmith turnpike. Mr. James Lee, who established this nursery, was born at Selkirk, in 1715. When he first came to London, he was employed at Syon, and afterwards at Whitton, by the Duke of Argyle. About the year 1760, he entered into partnership with Mr. Lewis Kennedy, gardener to Lord Bolton, at Chiswick, and commenced a nursery in what was called the Vineyard, at Hammersmith. About the middle of the last century, this vineyard produced annually a considerable quantity of Burgundy wine. A thatched house was built in the grounds, the upper part was used as a dwelling house, and for selling the wine, and underneath were the wine cellars. This house was formerly occupied by Worlidge, the celebrated engraver, and here he executed the most valuable and admired of his works. Mr. Lee was patronized by the Earl of Islay, afterwards Duke of Argyle, the planter of Whitton, who died in 1761, and other noblemen; he corresponded with Linnaeus, and composed an "Introduction to Botany," according to his system, published in 1760, which for many years was in the highest repute. He died in the year 1795, at the age of eighty years; his partner, Mr. Kennedy, having died previously, the nursery was carried on by the sons of the two founders, till 1818, when they dissolved partnership. It then became the sole property of James Lee, the second, who died in 1827, leaving it to his family, and it is now (1838) carried on by his son John. For many years this nursery was deservedly considered the first in the world. Besides an extensive correspondence, and a vigilant attention to procure every new plant as soon as it was introduced by others, Messrs. Lee and Kennedy introduced many plants into the country, through collectors whom they had sent abroad, and through foreign botanists. They maintained a collector in America, who sent home several new oaks; and, in partnership with the Empress Josephine, one at the Cape of Good Hope, who sent home many new ericas, ixias, and other Cape plants. They had also a collector in South America, who sent home fusia coccinea, by which they made a considerable sum of money, selling it for some time at a guinea a plant. They also had the first China rose, in 1787, of which they made a large sum. The extent of this nursery has been somewhat curtailed, by the approach of London, but it still contains an excellent collection, some fine specimens of magnolias, asiminas, crategusus, pyrus sorbus and other foreign trees and shrubs, and is conducted with the greatest liberality,"
[From History of European Botanical Discoveries in China, 1898, by Emil Bretschneider, p. 220-221:] Lee and Kennedy, nursery of exotic plants at Hammersmith, an old firm, in the last and present century. In Britt. & Boulg. Biogr. Index we find:
Lee, James, of Hammersmith, 1715-95, gardener at syon and Whatton, nurseryman, circa 1745, with Kennedy at Hammersmith.
Kennedy, Lewis, flourished 1775-1818, nurseryman of the Vineyard, Hammersmith. Father in law of H.C. Andrews (Botan. Repository).
[From James Lee and the Vineyard Nursery, Hammersmith, by Eleanor Joan Willson, 1961, p. 55:] John Kennedy sold his share in the Vineyard Nursery, which by that time included grounds in Kensington, Feltham, Stanwell and Bedfont...